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Low-Voltage, High-Speed Electro-Optic Scanner and Switch in Thin-Film Lithium Niobate

Low-Voltage, High-Speed Electro-Optic Scanner and Switch in Thin-Film Lithium Niobate

Abstract
The prism-based electro-optic beam deflector is a well-known technology dating back several decades. The primary factor that has inhibited its wide-spread application is the need for high control voltages - typically around 1,000V per degree of scanning for a device fabricated in bulk lithium niobate. We have used crystal ion slicing of lithium niobate to realize a beam deflector with an order-of-magnitude higher deflection sensitivity. We have demonstrated 1x5 switching of near-infrared light with a voltage swing of only +/-75V. While the optimal design of bulk deflectors is well established, the thin-film geometry requires careful consideration of the crucial factors of light coupling efficiency and control of beam divergence. This paper will discuss design issues for integrated 1xN switches based on this technology and their application to implementing a practical true time delay module for phased array systems.

Presented at SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing 2012

James E. Toney
Michael Shnider
Neil Smith
Peter Pontius
James Busch
Vincent E. Stenger
Andrea Pollick
Sri Sriram

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